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Food and Me

15 Aug

Eating and Sleeping; My two favorite things:

On a rainy Sunday afternoon January 1987, little Elisheva Shortt (yes that is my real name) was born at a healthy 7Ibs 6oz. From what I’m told, that really is when my glorious relationship with food began. According to my mother I was an easy baby, spending the majority of my time eating and sleeping. Not much has changed.

Love yourself, love food:

Yes, I was definitely a well-fed child. Just look at the picture below! THAT is a girl who values the cake over any other birthday perk. Some of my fondest childhood memories include stuffing my face with goodies, like when my dad would make us pancakes for dinner as a treat or when my mom had to drag me around while running errands and she’d pacify me with a big fresh bear-claw from my favorite bakery. I was definitely not deprived, and although my childhood chubbiness did cause me some grief from time to time (especially being a ballet dancer), my parents always taught me to love myself and love food. Eventually I learned they were right when I hit puberty, dropped all the baby weight, and kept eating like there was no tomorrow.

A Family of Foodies:

Both my parents, in fact everyone in my family, are fantastic cooks! My surgeon father treats it like a science with his “Cooks Illustrated” subscriptions and fine finesse for detail. My mom puts more love into her cooking than anyone I know – and you can definitely taste it! Even my brothers have great skills in the kitchen. One has worked in numerous restaurants as a chef, including an extremely popular and trendy New York deli. Now he’s at school to become a naturopathic doctor. The other, who’s in psychology, makes a show-stopping Pad-Thai. The reason I tell you this is to highlight that no matter what we choose as a career or life path, there is always room for food and culinary growth. Hence the reason why I’m heading off to Paris to attend cooking school. I don’t necessarily want to be a professional chef (although that would be pretty amazing), I just feel that if you love eating as much as I do, it’s probably a good idea to be really good at preparing the food that you want to shove in your mouth.

Making School Lunch and Other Fine Skills:

I first realized my culinary calling around grade two when I decided that I would make all my own school lunches. Shortly following this it became somewhat of a trend for me to offer multi-coursed “gourmet” dinners for my family  – printed menus included, naturally. I didn’t really find my true kitchen-legs until I moved away from home to attend university and was forced to cook all my own meals on a very tight budget. Creativity is key in these situations and very quickly you learn that sometimes the weirdest combinations turn out the best – you just have to be willing to push your palate.

But creativity isn’t enough, and sometimes we all need some good hard skills and techniques to really move forward and grow. Through this experience I’m hoping to further develop my love affair with food and gain some important knowledge in the culinary arts. And what better way to do all that then in la belle Paris, one of the true culinary capitals of the world where I’ll surrounded by overflowing cultural richness.

Thank you for coming along with me on my journey and I hope you learn something in this process as well!

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